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tv   Immigration and Undocumented Workers in Lynn Massachusetts  CSPAN  November 25, 2014 8:43pm-8:59pm EST

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calculates this is if joe smith is a student in our system and he drops out in april, takes a landscaping job, comes back in october, drops out the following april, that sount counts for us as two dropouts even though it's object one person. and we have had one of these students drop out four times already and that affects the city's standing with the massachusetts department of education. so we see a lot of problems coming down the road, beyond the ones that we're dealing with that are primarily financial right now. i'm glad you all have taken a interest in this, but i'm acting in a way as a beaconor a warning that this is result of the policies that the federal government has pursued. >> does this impact prospects of
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economic development in lynne? and what do the government officials tell you? what words do they use wlahen y come up and say, i can't check their age, what are you doing to us? >> well, like i said, the i.c.e. officials that i have met with have told me that they're doing a really good job resettling these people, but i don't think they're really keeping track of where they're resettling them. we're not getting any finances, we're getting reassurances that feel more like pats on the head that are like just go about your business, and in fact i have talked about the numbers, unaccompany aed minors that have been resettled here in the city of lynne. once they get resettled and they're claimed by a sponsor, those sponsors can be illegal themselves. but those sponsors then become conferred with the type of protected status because they are obligated to have control
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over that unaccompaniy eied min until their status hearing dated, those status hearing date where is being pushed back to 2017 right now because of the backlog so we haven't gotten they answers from any federal officials about what their long-term plan is for helping out the kmufblt communities where the resettlement is occurring. >> and the economic development. >> i really haven't seen any kind a of impact on our economic development. lynne is as i said a poor community, it's an old factory community. we have had actually a positive impact on the prices of our rental units and the availability of our rental units, especially the ones in the desirable section of town, the prices have gone to the point where there are bidding wars when they come on the market. the stock in apartments is
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really scarce right now. so i guess in that way, there's this kind of perverse positive effect on the economic development. as far as business development, we have added a couple of businesses that have, one that's going to generate 500 full and part-time jobs in the community and another one that has generated 200 job fors for the community. so we haven't seen any direct effect on the economic development prospects in the city of lynne. [ inaudible ] >> yes. >> so are people in the town glad to see the price goes up? >> no. >> no, the landlords are happy that the prices are going up. but we have -- i guess as a consequence of that as well, the scarcity, we have started to see, although we can't directly confirm this, that apartments
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are being subdivided which does create a public safety hazard for the community. one reason that we know this is happening is recently, about two or three weeks ago, we had a three-alarm fire in two multifamily homes, it started in one and spread to the second. and when the firefighters got to the third floor of the second building, they were finding it difficult to get into the bedrooms and find out whether there were people trapped in there because there were locks placed on those bedroom doors. they in effect became subdivided apartments and that apartment was effectively used as a rooming house. so we don't know how many more of those apartments are out there, i would love to be able to just knock on doors and take a look around, but i'm prohib prohibited from just bursting into people's apartments and checking that out. and unfortunately, we found out about it when the fire occurred. fortunately nobody was hurt. but it could have posed a real
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danger for either people trapped inside those illegally locked rooms or the firefighters that were wasting valuable time trying to look and check to make sure everybody had gotten out safely. >> yes, sir. >> dana milbank with the post. you mentioned alleged teenagers with gray hair and wrinkles. can you say how many there are? have you seen them yourself? are there photographs? are from names. >> i have seen their applications, their processing forms that have come from the jubilee center. and i would say of the 30 or 40 forms that i have seen maybe 7 or 8 of them clearly to me looked older than the 17 or 18 years old that they were claiming to be. >> so that is from photographs? >> photographs, i have not personally seen these people, because by the time i have become aware of them, they have been placed into the schools and
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i suppose u i could ask the superintendent if i could take a walk over to the school system, once school starts, for us it starts wednesday after labor day and maybe i'll be able to get some first hand, up close looks at these students. but clearly from some of the photographs, these people are adults. >> can you give us a legal break down of the new students that are enrolling over the past few years? >> that's one of the problems with the figures i have been zbaich. when i get this -- it doesn't tell me how many are refugees, how many are illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied mean knorrs and how many have arrived in the community legally. but i can tell you, just based on my conversation with the superintendent, that virtually all of those ninth great guatemalan admissions are the
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unaccompanied minors. another thing about lynne, we are projected to be the number one settalment for refugees coming into the state of massachusetts. lynne is projected to and that opposed to the second largest city in massachusetts, springfield, is getting 58. boston's getting only 19. so we have -- >> these are not central americans. this is through the regular refugee program. >> right. right. we have a multitude of problems. >> those are, by definition, legal immigrants and you don't know how many of these others are illegal immigrants. now given that and the fact that the surge that you had actually predates the real surge that we've had in unaccompanied minors at the border, why are you so sure it is related to that as opposed to these other problems? >> because the start of our surge predated the national so-called -- when the national
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stage first became aware of this. as i said, in -- through 2012, we had only three ninth-graders from guatemala in 2011 and 2012. by 2013, it was 56, i believe. and then in 2014, it was 126. that was clearly the start of a trend. it was not any new factor that was introduced that was complicating those figures. and again, we know that a lot of these unaccompanied children are coming through the jubilee center and the paperwork that they're coming up with is from the jubilee center. >> do you know how many you got from the jubilee center is it. >> i don't have the exact figure right now. i can get that. and by the way, if any of you have additional questions that you'd like me to answer that i don't have the answers for right
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now, you can send me an e-mail. the e-mail address to use is i'll be back at work tomorrow and i'll be able to start answering any more questions you might have. i'll have more access to research and be able to contact the school department to get any other information you might want. >> let's take a couple more questions so that you don't get e-mails. did you have something jessica? >> i was just going to add that, there were some photographs of some of the individuals claiming to be juveniles who arrived in lynn that were published. so -- couple months ago. i can tell you where to get those. >> matt boyle. i wanted to ask you, what is the effect of this on lynn's
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citizens and on legal immigrants that are there, and are they aware of this and what is the community's thoughts of this surge that's happened? >> most of them are very afraid to speak publicly about it because they don't want to be branded as a racist. however, i can tell you that through the e-mails i have received and through the personal conversations i have had with the individuals in lynn, they are very concerned about the number of people who are coming in. they want to see it stopped. they're glad that i'm speaking up about it. and even the legal immigrants are very frustrated that they had to wait eight, ten years and spend, in some cases, thousands of dollars to come to the country legally. they don't feel that it's fair that people who are coming across and throwing themselves at the mercy of i.c.e. are being
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able to get resettled more quickly and more cheaply than they were able to do. >> other than economic compensation for your budget, what specific changes in the immigration policy are you advocating before congressional staff? >> well, as i said, there's nothing specific. i will leave that to the policymakers at the federal level. but simply allowing all of the -- well not "all of." but to have a direct line from the resettlement centers, such as the jubilee center, to the city of lynn without compensating the city of lynn for that direct line i think is unfair. i think, for example, if lynn has experienced an 8% increase in its school population, maybe there has to be a way to redirect students so that until
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every surrounding community has an 8% increase in their student population, then there's a moratorium placed on having the students enter the lynn school system. just to balance it out. that might be the fair way to do it. having immigration law changes might be the way to do it. having a tougher border security might be the way to do it. i'm not here to advocate for the value of one approach over the other. i'm simply making people aware that there are communities far away from the border that are feeling the economic impact of the policies that the federal officials have in place currently and i'm asking them to look at them to acknowledge the impact that they're having on communities far, far away from the border and do something to change it. but as far as specifics, i leave that to the experts. >> some experts in the form of department of homeland security officials, border patrol and
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others of us who have studied this program over the years think that the appropriate response is to address the surge by deterring the continued entry and resettlement of people who are coming. we know that certainly the border patrol believes and has said and has written that when there are no consequences for illegal entry, and when people are allowed to rejoin family members who are already living here illegally, and when people who are here illegally are not subject to immigration enforcement unless they're convicted of a very serious crime, and when our local governments creates sanctuary policies, for example, to prevent local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with i.c.e., those are all the conditions that lead people to believe that they will be able to successfully resettle here, and often with our government's help.
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so the answer is to enforce the laws we have, use the tools we have, to turn off the faucet of illegal entry rather than trying to redistribute funding to help out all the communities that are forced to absorb it. >> we're going to have to -- i want to respect people's time. we're going to have to -- one more question very quickly. quick answers. then we'll wrap it up. >> melanie uhb from numbers, usa. during my research on places like the jubilee center, i found they describe their uac programs as placing children in foster care as one of the main priorities. do either of you have any insight to the foster care program? have you talked to anyone who's been a foster parent? are they americans? the figures, the process. anything? >> i have not. that's a quick answer. >> okay. thank you, folks. i'm not sure whether the mayor or jessica will be around to be accosted afterwards but you can
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always try. i appreciate everybody coming. thank you very much. and thank you, mayor kennedy. >> thank you. here's a look at wednesday's night primetime programming across the c-span networks. here on c-span 3 at 8:00 eastern remarks from the president of the kennedy center, deborah rutter. on c-span 2 at 8:00 we'll show you american university citizenship conference, civic, business and education leaders discuss what it means to be citizen. on c-span at 8:00 we'll have more congressional retirement interviews. our foc


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